Welland History .ca

The TALES you probably never heard about

Elias Hoover (1823-1892)

[Compiled by S]

John Hoover, son of Henry and Margaret, was born in 1780 in Pennsylvania, as the revolution had disrupted their lives. In any case he came to Canada about 1803 with brother David and Henry and sisters Ann and Elizabeth to the Rainham area, Haldimand county.

In 1815 John married Rachel Dils (1789-1875) in Rainham, Haldimand County. Rachel was the daughter of Adam Dils and Christine Bellas. Rachel was one of the fourteen children, six brothers and eight girls. John and Rachel had five children in the 1828 Gainsborough census. Their four sons were Josiah(Joseph), William H., John D., and Elias (the subject of this biography).

Elias Hoover, born December 1823 in Rainham married Minerva Guiline Bradshaw born April 24, 1829 in Pelham. They married in 1850 in Gainsborough township.

They had three children Isobel Hoover born 1851, Austin Hoover born in Wainfleet December 25, 1852 and died January, 15, 1856. He was buried in Oakwood cemetery, Wainfleet.  David Dexter Hoover born September 7, 1857 in Wainfleet.

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Fenwick Fair

{Welland Tribune 1892}

Pelham Breaks The Record.

Over 5000 People Patronize the Big Fair
A Great Day And A Great Show
Notes of the Exibits and List of the Winners

Nearly seven hundred dollars at the gate!

Briefly but eloquently this tells the tale of the unparalled success of Pelham Agricultural society’s show of 1892.
It makes a new record for itself and paralyzes all local records—so far as  attendance is concerned.

A very little figuring will place the number present away up in the thousands—5000 at least!

The gate receipts at 20c admission represent over 3400 people,–allowing the money paid for rigs to offset that not paid for children. Then 300 members received four tickets each—1200 more human beings……..

Dr Jehoida Wesley Schooley (1837-1907)

Dr. J.W. Schooley was the first doctor to practice in Welland. He was born in 1837  Bertie township.

Asa Schooley, Dr. Schooley’s grandfather came to Canada from New Jersey in 1788 as United Empire Loyalist. Asa was given a crown grant of 200 acres, located where Cherry Hill Golf course is . His son Benjamin married and had 12 children, one of whom became a doctor. Dr. J.W. Schooley was born March 29,1837. He became a teacher, taught in Port Colborne, Gravelly Bay, Drummondville High School and became an inspector of schools. In 1858

He entered Medical school in Toronto, also attended medical school in Vermont, returned to medical school in Toronto and graduated in 1863. He came to Welland, then spent 18 months practicing medicine in Minnesota. In 1863 Welland had about 900 residents.

In 1863 Dr. Schooley married Sarah E. Baxter, born in 1837, from Bertie. They had two daughters. Elizabeth born 1868 and Maude born February 17, 1872.

Elizabeth J. Schooley married William James Elliott June 13, 1896 in Welland. He was a lawyer, they settled in Toronto.

Alice Maude Schooley married Edwin Norton Gunsanlus July 6, 1910. He was a member of the United States Consulate.

An adopted son, Roy Dunlop Schooley born April 13, 1889. He married Flora M. Schooley born in Pennsylvania in 1887. In 1930 they were living in Pennsylvania.

Dr. J.W. Schooley served on the public and high school boards, he was a coroner,  medical officer of health and physician to the Welland county jail.

He had an assistant Dr. J. Kennedy in 1877 and then joined by Dr. Burgar.

1899-1902 Dr, Schooley was an examiner for colleges of physicians and surgeons.

In 1879 Dr Schooley lived at 33 Fraser St. Welland. He built the Schooley Apartments on Division Street where he lived and practiced.

Dr. J.W. Schooley died June 4, 1907 in Welland of dilatation of the heart. His wife Sarah E. Baxter Schooley died May 26, 1907. She had paralysis. They died 9 days apart.

They are buried in Fairview Cemetery in Niagara Falls.

[Welland Tribune 1892]

Dr. Schooley—office and residence on Division street, Welland. Next east of Commercial Hotel. Specialties—Diseases of women and diseases of the chest.

[Welland Tribune 1903]

Dr. Schooley—office and residence , Division street, first door east of Roach’s hotel, Welland. Specialties: Diseases of women and diseases of the chest.


(Before Mr. Hellems)

[Welland Tribune, 15 January 1892]

Jan.11- W.J. Rutledge, an inmate of the Industrial Home, was charged by Keeper Hemming with insubordination and with punching Richard Hanna, another inmate. The charge was sworn to by witnesses, but Rutledge, who showed a good deal of skill and intelligence in his own defence, claimed that other witnesses would tell a different tale. The case will be disposed of tomorrow at 9 a.m.

Jimmy McEvoy, an old pensioner and general choreman about the hotels here for some years past, came up as a vagrant. Whiskey is Jimmy’s ruination, as it is that of so many. Jimmy was given two months in jail which will tide him over next pension pay day.

Jacob Heaslip, of Fort Erie, charge with abduction of his sister from his step-mother, appointed the child’s guardian by a U.S. Court. The case had previously been heard. The magistrate’s decision was that he could make no order with respect to the disposal of the child, but could only deal with the alleged abduction as an offence by itself. Action for the possession of the child would require to be taken in a higher court. As to the abduction, the defendant was admitted to bail to answer at next sittings of high court, G.W. Ramey and M. Vanderburgh going on his bonds.


[Welland Tribune, 22 April 1892]

A FATAL STROKE- Mr. William Chambers, an old and respected citizen who lived with Mr. Thos. Tuckey, died at one o’clock on Sunday morning last from paralysis. Mr. Chambers suffered the first stroke on Friday morning last-a very severe one-which was followed by another on Saturday. From that moment there was no hope, and life ebbed away slowly until Sunday morning, when death came to his relief. Deceased was a widower, his wife having died very suddenly some years ago. A son and daughter in Saginaw, Mich., and a son at Port Colborne, are the only members of the family left to mourn. The funeral took place on Tuesday; services at Holy Trinity by Rev. G. Johnstone, and interment at Doan’s Ridge.

Died: 17 April 1892

Runaway and Upset

[Welland Telegraph, 7 October 1892]

              A runaway accident occurred on the canal bank last Sunday afternoon at the culvert about half way between Welland and Humberstone.  Mrs. T.F. Brown with her niece, Miss Flynn, of Niagara Falls, N.Y., and Mattie Tobin were driving towards Port Colborne, when the horse took fright at a billy goat tethered at the culvert and shied, upsetting the buggy over the bank and throwing the occupants over the stones at the waters edge. The horse ran a short distance and stopped, after breaking the buggy to some extent. The ladies, though not seriously injured, were severely bruised and badly frightened. Assistance was on hand almost immediately from people who were driving along the road. One of the sons of the late Jas. Haun drove Mrs. Brown and Miss Flynn to Welland, and a gentleman who was driving to Merritton gave a seat to Miss Tobin. The ladies are thankful that the result is not worse, but they will feel the effects of the shaking up for some days. The goat which caused the mishap belongs to a Mr. Sonures, who lives in the vicinity, and who is deserving of censure for placing the vicious animal where it had an opportunity to cause such an accident.


Late Fletcher Swayze

[Welland Tribune, 7 Ocotober 1892]

              On Saturday last our town was inexpressibly and saddened by the report that Fletcher Swayze was in a dying condition. He had not been well for months, suffering from a terrible pain in the head and general prostration, and for a few weeks had been quite ill. On Thursday last the symptoms were much more favorable, but on Saturday morning a sudden and decided change for the worse took place. Apparently a blood vessel burst in the brain, and from that hour hope was abandoned. He sank into a comatose state, and death followed about 7.30 the same evening.

             Mr. Swayze was born in Gainsborough township on the 23rd of December, 1842, and had not yet attained his fiftieth year. His parents were Samuel and Mary Ann (Haney) Swayze. The Welland county history thus refers to the deceased: “At the early age of sixteen he obtained a teacher’s first class certificate, and at seventeen began teaching. He continued at his profession for several years, afterwards engaging in the mercantile business in St. Catharines, Fonthill, Fenwick and Welland. In 1875 he was appointed official assignee and held office until the insolvent law was repealed. He was also appointed bailiff of the first division court, but resigned that position and opened an office in Welland town as accountant, insurance agent, M.C.R. Agent etc., taking his eldest son into partnership with him. From that time up to the present the firm of F. Swayze & Son have enjoyed the public confidence and transacted an extensive business. Mr. Swayze was a justice of the peace and has held the highest municipal honors in the gift of his fellow townsmen, occupying the position of mayor of this town in 1879, 1880 and 1884.” He had eminent executive ability and made an excellent municipal official. At the time of his death he was alderman for the fourth ward, and a member of the public school board-having held the latter position for about seventeen years. He leaves a widow (daughter of W.G. Church, recently of Fontill), and four sons and two daughters, namely-Burton, Charles, Frank, Kenneth, Gertrude and Hallie.

             Mr. Swayze was one of Welland’s best, ablest and most prominent public men, doing his duty fearlessly and honestly in all the positions held by him. He leaves a spotless record, and the history of his public and private life will ever remain in the grateful memory of his fellowmen. In recognition of his worth and services, the town flag floated at half mast until after the burial, and on the day of the funeral the schools and all business places in town were closed by proclamation of civic authority.

             The funeral was one of the largest and the attendance of the most representative that has taken place here for years. Friends were present from near and far, and residents of the town turned out very generally to pay their last tribute of respect to a citizen whom all loved and honored. Nearly fifty carriages followed to the cemetery at Fonthill. In the funeral procession were all the members of the town council and school board, except one or two who were absent from town. The pall-bearers were W.M. German, J.H. Burgar, David Ross, Wm. Beatty, G.L. Hobson and S.J. Sidey. By request of the family, flowers were omitted, and the only floral tribute placed on the grave was a beautiful pillow of flowers from the sons and daughters, bearing that endearing word, “Father.” The impressive burial services at the house and grave were conducted by Rev. V.H. Emory of the Methodist church, the choir rendering appropriate hymns.

             The afflicted family is inconsolable in the terrible blow that has fallen so unexpectedly upon them, but they have the knowledge that the loving sympathy of all is extended to them in their hour of sorrow. May kind Providence aid them to look upon their bereavement with resignation.

Died: 1 October 1892
Fonthill Cemetery
23 December 1842-1 October 1892
Cerebral Hemorrhage
Father: Samuel Swayze
Mother: Mary Ann Haney


What the Welland Papers Were Saying Back in October 1892


Glimpses of a Few Changes Time Has Wrought During the Years

By Oliver Underwood

             This month of October five-and-thirty years ago in 1892, was marked on its first day by the death of a then outstanding figure in Welland, Fletcher Swayze, mayor of the town in 1879-80 and 1884; and of whom The Tribune said: “He was one of Welland’s best, ablest and most prominent public men…He leaves a spotless record, and the history of his public and private life will ever remain in the grateful memory of his fellow men.

             The funeral was one of the largest and the attendance of the most representative that has taken place here for years. Nearly fifty carriages travelled to the cemetery at Fonthill.

             It is of interest to note that but two of his pallbearers still survive. W.M. German and David Ross; the others being J.H. Burgar, Wm. Beatty, G.L. Hobson and S.J. Sidey, all of whom have in their turn gone on.

             In passing, it may be presumed that the Fonthill cemetery was not then the beautiful God’s acre that, thanks to the civic pride of Dr. H.L. Emmett, it is today, for there is a notice of a meeting at John Brown’s house, father of Geo. C. Brown, Fonthill, “to consider the cemetery premises and engaging a caretaker-matters that sadly need attention.”

History Repeats Itself

             The truth of the above old wheeze finds illustration in a news item of the day. It will be remembered that at the time of the Old Boys’ reunion honor was done our distinguished townsman, W.M. German, in the unveiling of his portrait, which now has place in the court house, where it will remain for the generations to come.

             But the portrait of today is in reality old stuff; other hands forestalled the eminent artist of the current year, for, back in 1892, “A very fine and correct free-hand crayon portrait of Mr. German is on exhibition in the window of the Red Rocker furniture store, (now Sutherland’s). The portrait is the work of Rev. Mr. Tinkham, Port Colborne, and shews faithful care and ability to a notable degree.”

Sport For Sport’s Sake

             In these days of three-million prize fight gates there is much talk of the commercialization of sport. Here again history repeats itself. One issue of The Tribune carried a complaint for somebody about the large proportion of the Welland fair’s money being devoted to the trotting purses. The week following that paper says: “There is a very mistaken idea abroad that a large proportion of the funds go to pay purses in the speeding contests. We publish the following statement of actual payments: Cattle $85; sheep $100; horses (not speeding) $115; race purses $30.”

             All of which must have shut-up the knockers.

A Smoke Eater, Too

             The multifarious activities of Robt. Cooper are well known. But it will be news to today’s generation to learn that he used to figure in still another field.

             There was a fire in J.E. Cutler’s house thirty-five years ago. In the story we read: “During the progress of the fire County Clerk Cooper met with what may prove a very serious accident. The water had been shut off and the nozzle was lying on the floor, when all at once the water was turned on and the stream struck Mr. Cooper in the face with terrific force. The right eyelid was badly bruised and the eye severely injured. Mr. Cooper was almost blinded and had to be assisted home. The physician could give no decided opinion, but expressed fears that the sight or the right eye might be permanently impaired.”

High Court

             High Court was in session with T.D. Cowper acting for the crown, and the following members of the county bar in attendance: A.G. Hill, F.W. Hill, Niagara Falls; W.M. German, Hon. Richard Harcourt, L.C. Raymond, A.E. Cole, Welland.

             The grand jury was composed of the following, of whom some are still with us while many others have gone on: E. Cruikshank, foreman; W.A. Anderson, Jacob Clemens, B.M. Disher, Henry Egerter, John Greenwood, P.H. Hendershot, C.H. Hibbard, John Hoschke, Wm. Hanna, Jno. Leitch, D. McConachie, Thomas McEwen, H. Rinker, John Schneider, Chas. Sherk, Anthony Strouthers, Wm. Stapf, Wm. Bell.

Editorial Hot Shot

             An editorial leader in The Telegraph takes the hide off a certain auctioneer at Niagara Falls, who, so it was alleged, had turned in to The Tribune copy for an auction sale bill, when the instructions were to give the job to the Tory organ. “Despicable trick,” “contemptible trickery,” “dishonorable individual,” “political spite,” “petty, mean, contemptible and dishonorable ends”- these are freely interlarded in the editorial vituperation.

             And all for the sake of an auction bill!

             Well, editoring used to be Some Job!


             The citizens named in the following excerpt from The Telegraph are still living honorable and upright lives in our midst, so the slip of the foot recounted will not be cast up against them. “Messrs. J.H. Crow and J.F. Hill went out on Wednesday to shoot squirrels. They killed five black ones, but it was on the preserves of Geo. W. Hansler, Pelham who has a fancy for raising black squirrels; and the latter gentleman, on finding the mischief done, was about to have them arrested. He was quieted down by ample apologies and promises never to do it again. Of course, the game bag was confiscated.”

Fenwick The Big Show

             Welland fair now overshadows the similar event in Pelham, but ‘twas not always thus. The Fenwick show in 1892 had a $682 gate and total receipts of $1227, and the estimated attendance was over 6,000.

             One item in the news story has a familiar ring; in fact, the razz might well have been used at Welland fair this year, and will likely come in handy in 1928. “The manner in which the judges stand was crowded with people who had no business there, outside of curiosity, made the work of the judges very difficult. It might be a good idea for the society to appoint a special constable with a key and club to admit only the judges and the press and guard the stand from unnecessary intrusion.”

             But the long-suffering newspaperman who covered the fair had his inning, vide, “A grey-mutton-chop-whiskered judge in the speeding classes labored under the impression that he owned the earth, and took pains to be as disagreeable as possible to the press representatives. But his big feet, big feelings and porky disposition were small potatoes in comparison with the things he didn’t know.”

             It would be soul satisfying to hitch an Amen on to that blast as regards the judges’ stand at his year’s Welland fair. Not to the judges or other race officials, but to certain officious society members clad in a little brief authority but without proper understanding that the stand is for judges, timers and press and that any others there are simply gumming-up the works.

Band Concert

             The Welland firemen’s band staged a concert in Orient hall. The male quartette’s selection, “Brudder Eben Cotch a Coon’ was not up to expectations. In fact, it sounded at times as though the coon had cotched the singer. The song was all right, but it was evident the singers failed to practice it the night before the concert.

Just As Dumb Now

             Mark Twain it was who complained that everybody talked about the weather, but nobody did anything about it. It is talked about today, and it was talked about thirty-five years ago, according to the following; but this age doesn’t seem to really know much more, if any, about it than they did then. The weather prophets of Welland are disagreeing about the probabilities of the coming winter. Some of them say an open winter, and others are predicting howling blizzards and an Icelandic temperature. In the meantime, the weather goes on in the same old groove and pays no attention. How true this last-how true!

A Burning Issue

             “Now that fall is here, and winter is close at hand, wood is beginning to move. The great majority of consumers in Welland are of the opinion that wood offered for sale should be measured and marked off by an authorized officer. Selling and buying wood by the load at random is a practice most unsatisfactory. Wood should be measured and bought and sold by measure only,” so says The Telegraph.

Listen, Lads!

             Welland High played St. Catharines collegiate here at football. With the score 0-0, “with two minutes left for play, Harry Moore kicked a goal for the home team,” says the newspaper story.

             That is that, but the nub lies in the fact that the Harry Moore is the genial and somewhat rotund postmaster of these days; and any one who can picture that much esteemed official kicking a goal now is invited to get busy.

New Industry at Port

             The Telegraph devotes a column to a story of the newly opened glass plant at Port Colborne, the Erie Glass company. In the course of the tale there is found this optimistic prediction; “Port Colborne is happy and its inhabitants are wreathed in smiles at the realization of the first industry located there through natural gas. “This is only one,” said a citizen. “Others will follow when it is understood that we have plenty of gas. In a couple of years you will see the new factory, roofs shining in the sunlight all over the town. But the government should place a high export duty on the gas; then it would not be long before there would be hundreds of factories between here and Fort Erie.”

             Well, that wasn’t done, but who knows, who knows?…

High Cost of Living

             Even in the good old days that was a favorite topic to beef about, as is evidenced in the following from a communication to the press: “How is it when flour drops in price there is___, but the bakers keep pegging away at the same old rate. I did hear that there lives in Fonthill a baker, whose conscience, or his opposition-I don’t know which, has induced him to lower the price of the staff of life to four cents a loaf; but that does not help the Welland people-they keep right on paying six cents a loaf.”

             On the other hand, J.B. Taylor & Co., Welland, advertise 28 lbs. of raisins for $1; and mixed pickles at 50¢ per gallon. And elsewhere, ladies wool hose were 15¢ per pair, while what is understood is now an obsolete article of feminine panoply, corsets, could be had from 25¢ up to one berry, case or dollar.

             Also, a man’s heavy rubber coat could be bought for a two spot; an overcoat for him for $3.75 up, and a suit of clothes from $4.50.

             And how does this sound- 23 lbs. coffee sugar, $1; and 25 lbs. yellow sugar for the same price?

             Buggy whips started at 13¢, two for 25¢, and for 75¢ could be bought a real rawhide worth $1.25 of any man’s money.

             A nifty pair of calf balmorals of congress gaiters cost jus two bucks; and dozen cabinet photographs cost but $3.50 with an enlarged crayon in a heavy gilt frame.


             “A.E. Douglass has fitted a night bell on his drug store door. Parties wishing medicine any time in the night will press the button, and Mr. D. will do the rest.”

             “In the little hamlet of Ridgeville, Mr. Murgatroyd is about letting a contract for the erection of more hitching posts for the accommodation of his numerous customers.”

             “The new incandescent electric lights have been suffering an eclipse lately.”

             “A magnificent ball is on the tapis, and if carried out as proposed will exceed anything of the kind ever before held in Welland.”

             “Ridgeway band will come out next year in flying colors. The band, which now numbers fifteen members, will be increased to about 25, and four or five of the new members will be ladies. This is an innovation and we congratulate Conductor Dunn on securing the co-operation and talent of the fair sex.”

             “The clay roads this week were the best they have been since the breakup last spring-perfectly level at last, and not dusty.”

             “W.R. McKinney, of Crowland, is harvesting a piece of clover (October 14) which he sowed last spring. Best that?”

             “Billy Lynch can’t induce any more girls to ride behind his spirited horse. The way the buggy was vacated when the colt did the circus act was marvelous.”

             “The owners of the grand stand at the fair grounds which to apologize to their patrons for the dust which was allowed full swing on fair days. It will not occur again. Hereafter the stretch will be watered.”

The Market

             Butter 20¢; eggs, “none in town, a limited supply would bring 13¢”; potatoes, 40¢ bushel; chestnuts, $4 bushel; wheat, 64¢; oats, 27¢; hay, $7, middlings $16; bran $14; butchers pay farmers for beef. 5 ½¢ to 6¢; lamb 8 ½¢; pork 6 ½¢.

The Welland Evening Tribune

25 October 1927